Updated: Jun 19, 2021
(Photo by Cody Glenn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
The Steelers addressed the center position in the third round at 87th overall by selecting Kendrick Green out of Illinois. Green started all eight games in 2020 and finished out his college career with 33 straight starts. Green played both center and guard in his career, starting three games at center in 2020.
"I was definitely talking to coach Klemm and Coach (Mike) Tomlin about the center position," Green said, who's open to playing center or guard at the next level. "I am looking forward to stepping in and trying to contribute as soon as possible.
"I feel like I am a really athletic offensive lineman, the most athletic offensive lineman in this year's class. I play with a mean streak. I am looking to play physical and finish guys. Hopefully I fit right in. I am looking to come in, be a sponge, and be a workhorse"
Green isn't the biggest, but he's a quick center who excels in zone blocking and at getting up to the second level. He also plays with a mean streak, which is exactly what new offensive line coach Adrian Klemm is looking for.
"I am really excited about KG. He is a guy we had our eye on," Klemm said. "We love the way that he plays in terms of what we've been talking about, in terms of changing our demeanor and the attitude that we want to carry onto the field. He embodies all of that. He has great leadership qualities. He was the alpha in that program. He is just a tremendous player. He can do it all. The pulls, physical in the run game, pass protect. All of those things."
In an interview that appeared on Steelers.com last week, Klemm said he's looking forward to a fresh start with the offensive line and he's looking to bring physicality back.
"We struggled a little bit last year, obviously we didn't do as well as we liked to the last few years, but one of the things we want to really focus on is just being physical," Klemm said. "You know, bringing a physical aspect to the game back. Playing with passion, communicating, getting guys in the right spot. Not doing too much, but doing enough to keep the defense off-balance."
Green should help bring some of that nastiness back to the offensive line.